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UWA makes presence known

Little more than 30 days on campus, the University of West Alabama has taken a huge step in fostering a greater connection with the students who attend classes at the Demopolis Higher Education Center.

The city will host several sporting events during the 2009-10 academic year, including two softball double-headers at the Demopolis Sportsplex against Marion Military Institute and Judson College on Oct. 16 and April 13, respectively.

This newspaper has long advocated this, even when Alabama Southern Community College was managing partner of the facility.

It’s virtually impossible to foster school spirit on what is basically a satellite campus if those students don’t have some connection to the parent university.

The easiest way to facilitate that is through athletics.

Several other sports, including men’s and women’s tennis are close to finalizing dates with in-state opponents in Demopolis as well.

UWA softball is coming off of a banner year that included tying the school record for wins (42) and its first berth in the Gulf South Conference Tournament in over a decade. Tiger men’s tennis also had a terrific campaign in 2009, setting the school record for wins (18) en route to a first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. UWA women’s tennis set the school record for wins in 2008 (16) and has made two straight GSC Tournament appearances (2008, 2009).

Hopefully, the UWA Tigers will become a partial tenant of Demopolis High School’s Tiger Stadium next football season. Even one game would mean a lot to the students here.

UWA director of athletics Dr. E.J. Brophy best sums up the schools stance on its presence in Demopolis:

“Demopolis is our sister city, and we greatly appreciate all of our great friends, fans and alums there. With our new partnership with the Demopolis Higher Education Center, we felt it was only fitting to hold several events nearby to show our appreciation, and we plan to schedule even more events there in the future.”

It’s good to see that UWA thinks of Demopolis as its sister city rather than its stepchild.

We welcome the Tigers’ athletic program and look forward to what the future holds.